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Honorary degree citation - Measha Brueggergosman

By: Professor Adams, June 2017

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Ms. Measha Brueggergosman, a critically acclaimed singer whose superb voice and charitable work qualify her as one of Canada's greatest ambassadors.

Mme Brueggergosman est reconnue dans le monde entier comme l’une des plus grandes cantatrices de l’heure.

Interprète d’œuvres musicales variées, elle donne corps tant à l’élégance des personnages de Mozart qu’à l’impénétrable héroïne du Porgy and Bess de George Gershwin.

Her performance of the Olympic Hymn at the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and her moving interpretations of traditional African-American spirituals have earned her recognition beyond traditional audiences.

A descendant of freed slaves who arrived in Canada in the late 18th century, Ms. Brueggergosman’s career as a singer is an inspiring example to all.

In a field known for cutthroat competition, she has succeeded through her intelligent interpretations, technical mastery, intense discipline and dedication. The voice is the most dangerous and intimate of all musical expressions. In every performance, Measha Brueggergosman fills every note with commitment, self, and passion. Her range spans the hardest to the softest of characters. Her Strauss and Mahler can melt your heart.

Outre ses nombreuses réalisations professionnelles, Mme Brueggergosman a surmonté de graves ennuis de santé, ayant subi une opération à cœur ouvert alors qu’elle était encore dans la vingtaine.

In spite of extensive travel, huge roles to memorize, and grueling rehearsal and performance schedules, she has managed to balance the rigours of her performing career with her charitable work and personal life. Her two young boys are the joy of her life.

Her work with charitable organizations includes AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation), Learning Through the Arts, and the World Wildlife Federation.

Elle a séjourné dans le nord de l’Ouganda, où elle a travaillé au sein de programmes de l’AMREF pour améliorer la vie des personnes déplacées, la santé des mères et des enfants ainsi que l’offre de soins médicaux.

Mme Brueggergosman a remporté une foule de prix nationaux et internationaux.

She was awarded the prestigious Canada Council and Chalmers Performing Arts grants in 2002-2003 and was featured in the CBC documentary, Spirit in Her Voice.

She won a Grammy award for the album, William Bolcom: Songs of Innocence and of Experience and a Juno award for her performance on her 2010 album, Surprise. In February of this year, the documentary Songs of Freedom was released, tracing her family history to Cameroon, and the music that grew out of the slavery her ancestors survived. She recently sang for the Royal Family at Westminster Abby.

In 2014, several of Concordia’s music students and alumni performed with Ms. Brueggergosman in the Montreal production of Porgy and Bess. Today, we are thrilled to once again share the stage with her.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Ms. Measha Brueggergosman, so that you may confer upon her the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.

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